Sunday, April 19, 2009
spring day musings
It occurred to me that I may not be that much different from my "tween-aged" son. I am always accusing him of not talking enough- of not disclosing his every innermost thought.
Then I remembered that annoying tendency we all have of ourselves possessing the traits for which we criticize others.
Well, I used to talk. When my mother was alive I spoke to her often, with full disclosure of every last aspect of my life, pretty much. And I saw a counselor until a year ago- obviously I talked to her.
I think I've done enough talking during my life. Even though I haven't talked much lately about anything more serious than the next cold front, I seem to be about as mentally healthy as I've ever been.
Is it possible that talking is over-rated?
Yesterday I nearly crashed the car when The Child started telling me, from the back seat, about a book his 5th grade class has been reading. First of all, he was actually initiating conversation, and secondly, this is a child who has done nothing but whine and complain about school since his first day of kindergarten. With complete sincerity, he told me he can't wait to read this book's sequel. (Mind you, this was no super hero book or anything like that- it was historic, written about the Civil War era.) This is the same child who has consistently resisted any and all attempts by me to get him to read books at home. (He couldn't even be bribed with rewards of video games!)
It's always been a mystery how he even learned to read. He resisted my efforts to teach him at home, and I know beyond doubt that he has rarely paid attention to his teachers in school. His kindergarten teacher had told me that he showed up at school one day suddenly and inexplicably knowing how to read at a fairly advanced level. He was soon thereafter placed in the Gifted and Talented program, where he remains to this day.
Unlike his mother, The Child has definitely not fulfilled his talking quota for his age. Yesterday's sudden bout of talking may have been an isolated and historic event.
There was much yardwork to be done this weekend. See the clippings on the ground? This city has stopped free collection of yard waste. I refuse to pay for it- I am already paying very high property taxes and I file city income taxes as well. I just found out that not all city residents file city taxes! Why? Seriously, why? Well, I'll be damned if I'm turning over yet more of my heard-earned money to this city which is constantly cutting back services to its residents.
So I have to figure out what to do with my massive amounts of yard waste. I've been hauling it into the woods near my house at night. Of course, I have to come up with an explanation of my clandestine activities for The Child.
"Why do you do this in the middle of the night if there's nothing wrong with it?"
Good question. I've always quoted football great Woody Hayes, "Nothin' good ever happens after 10 pm." So of course The Child, who grew up hearing that, wants to know why I haul yard waste into the city-owned woods after 10pm.
Some things are hard to explain gracefully and effectively, especially when the explainer feels inexplicable guilt. In nature, "yard waste" is naturally recycled. No city-owned trucks are required for nature's cycle of life. My yard waste is helping the city's woods grow, right?
So why do I insist on doing it in the dark of night, glancing back furtively over my shoulder for possible witnesses to my indescretion, while The Child, shaking his head in disbelief, acts as my lookout?
Posted by B.S. at Sunday, April 19, 2009